The state of Illinois is continuing to expand access to coronavirus tests, opening two new community testing sites in Aurora and Rockford this week.
Both facilities will be drive-thru facilities, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Chicago Premium Outlets mall in Aurora opened its drive-thru testing facility on Wednesday, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine location in Rockford will open its testing facility on Friday.
“Greater testing capacity is needed so that healthcare workers, first responders and those who continue to be on the job can be tested before they unknowingly spread the virus,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “Testing is essential to identify those who are infected. More testing will help us end this pandemic sooner.”
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According to officials, a doctor’s note is not required to be tested. Patients must be experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19, including cough or shortness of breath and a fever.
In Aurora, Mayor Richard Irvin knows firsthand what it’s like to deal with coronavirus, having battled the disease himself earlier this year.
“For weeks I went on what I consider a horrific rollercoaster ride of health, or lack thereof,” he said. “I went to the edge and clawed my way back. I experienced things I never thought imaginable. Thankfully I recovered.”
Irvin agrees with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker that more testing is one of the keys to re-opening the state’s economy, and hopes to have 1,000 people a day tested in his community.
“I don’t want that to happen to anyone else. Testing is a key step,” he said.
Those wishing to be tested must be seated at a functioning window in their vehicles. Once in line, patients are not permitted to exit their vehicles. Patients will be asked to show photo identification.
Both facilities will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, or until supplies are exhausted, according to the press release.
The new facilities are part of the state’s project to increase testing capacity. Over the last 24 hours, more than 9,300 tests have been performed in the state, a new single-day high since the pandemic began.
“We’re working every day to expand testing in the state, and you’re starting to see some success,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said. “I want many more tests in the state, and you shouldn’t be surprised if that testing number continues to grow.”
Community-based testing facilities are also open in Bloomington, Harwood Heights and Markham.
For a full list of Illinois facilities performing COVID-19 tests, you can visit the NBC Chicago app.